Vision Express employees across the UK will now receive professional training on the signs of childhood eye cancer.
The retailer, which is committed to reducing delays in retinoblastoma diagnosis, worked with the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust on the new training scheme, which was launched during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
It will be rolled out to all front-line clinical team members, in a bid to expedite 100 per cent of retinoblastoma cases presented in stores.
The CET training initiative is the second major education campaign by Vision Express to reduce delays in diagnosis of retinoblastoma. In 2013 it became the first optician in the UK to adopt the opticians protocol to ensure a quick and effective referral if retinoblastoma is suspected.
Anecdotal evidence previously gathered by CHECT has shown the subtle symptoms of this aggressive cancer are often initially missed by health professionals – leading to unnecessary delays and resulting in loss of sight, or rarely, life.
The professionally-accredited training comprises a series of videos presented by two leading retinoblastoma consultants and a representative of the charity, as well as an interactive training module to reinforce learning.
It aims to alert everyone working in optical practices to the signs and symptoms of retinoblastoma and the importance of urgent referral.
Vision Express CEO, Jonathan Lawson, said: “Opticians are at the frontline in helping battle this rare childhood eye cancer so we’re hoping this training module will build on the important foundations laid down by the protocol already adopted by Vision Express, and bring the learning alive for all optical professionals to ensure we can collectively tackle the disease head on.”
Patrick Tonks, Chief Executive of CHECT, said: “We are delighted to see Vision Express leading the way once again on professional Rb awareness. In 2013 CHECT worked with Vision Express to develop the opticians protocol on retinoblastoma, to ensure that any child presenting at an optical store with any of the signs and symptoms of Rb would be referred appropriately.
“The e-learning module takes the protocol to the next level, providing an interactive learning resource for the entire in-store team. We are confident it will prove an invaluable tool in the campaign to reduce current delays in diagnosis.”
Vision Express has enjoyed an award-winning partnership with CHECT since 2010 and employees and customers have raised around £300,000 since the relationship was forged.